CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston's Caroline Newman (Greensboro, N.C.) has been named the national women's winner of the prestigious 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - the first national award ever bestowed on a male or female tennis student-athlete out of the Southern Conference.
Dating back to 1982, it is the highest award presented by the ITA annually to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. The national winners are honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day which will be held in conjunction with the U.S. Open on August 25, 2012, inside Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Newman, a 5-foot-7 right-hander out of the Carolina Region, was one of 12 regional winners considered for the national award along with Emily Fraser of Virginia (Atlantic Region), Mary Weatherholt of Nebraska (Central Region), Marisa Lambropoulos of Illinois (Midwest Region), Molly Knox of Idaho (Mountain Region), Monika Graff of NJIT (Northeast Region), Denise Dy of Washington (Northwest Region), Natalie Pluskota of Tennessee (Ohio Valley Region), Courtney McLane of Alabama (Southern Region), Joanna Mather of Florida (Southeast Region), Stephanie Hammel of UC Irvine (Southwest Region) and Sona Novakova of Baylor (Texas Region). She was the only mid-major women's national award winner alongside representatives from UCLA, Duke, Cal, USC and Texas.
"Caroline Newman has had a great tennis career at the College of Charleston and a Hall of Fame career as a humanitarian," CofC Head Coach Angelo Anastopoulo said. "To be recognized nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for her outstanding tennis accomplishments, academic success and numerous volunteer activities is a honor the College of Charleston and Southern Conference should be very proud of. The Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership/Sportsmanship Award is the highest honor a collegiate tennis player can receive. I feel certain Mr. Ashe is looking down and smiling on the committee's choice, as Caroline embodies so much that he stood for. Ironically, Caroline will be making a second trip to South Africa on a medical mission trip this summer - the same country in which Arthur Ashe fought so hard to end Apartheid."
Collecting more than 80 career singles and 70 career doubles victories, Newman was just as successful in serving as team captain of this year's women's squad as well as at winning matches. In her four years at CofC, the Cougars claimed four SoCon titles, put together an overall record of 90-29, and won an impressive 49-of-51 league matches.
Newman is given much of the credit for all of those accomplishments due to her devotion to her teammates and her ability to energize the team through her leadership. As a sophomore, she helped the women's tennis team earn the Cougar Cup, which is awarded to the top athletic team in the school's athletic department based on academics, athletic success, personal development, career development and community service
She is equally devoted to academics as she is tennis, graduating summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. Newman has been a part of the inner city tennis program for the past three years, helping introduce tennis to economically challenged children. She also served as a coach for the Win4Life program the past two years, helping mentor upcoming players. With dreams of becoming a doctor, she traveled to Southern Africa last summer to participate in a program which sponsored medical clinics for individuals in extreme rural areas, helping over 100 patients daily. She intends to enter medical school in the fall of 2013.
2012 ITA WOMEN'S NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year - Stella Sampras Webster, UCLA
ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year - Rance Brown, UCLA
ITA National Senior Player of the Year - Jana Juricova, University of California
ITA National Co-Rookie of the Year - Robin Anderson, UCLA and Beatrice Capra, Duke University
ITA National Player to Watch - Zoe Scandalis, USC
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Caroline Newman, College of Charleston
ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship - Aeriel Ellis, University of Texas